MANILA - A Muntinlupa City judge on Friday ordered the camp of detained Senator Leila De Lima to comment on the plea of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the consolidation of the three drug cases against the lawmaker and several others in connection with the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Judge Amelia Fabros- Corpuz of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 gave De Lima's lawyers 10 days to comment on the DOJ's motion.
Corpuz is hearing the criminal case against De Lima and her former security aide and relative, Jose Adrian Dera.
Corpuz also directed De Lima's camp to comment within 10 days on the DOJ's opposition to the senator's pleas for the quashal of the criminal case and judicial determination of probable cause.
The DOJ will have 10 days to file a reply. The next hearing on the motions was set for April 21.
De Lima is also facing drug trading cases before Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon of Branch 206 and Judge Juanita Guerrero of Branch 204.
Guerrero ordered the senator's arrest on February 23. The DOJ moved for Guerrero to handle all three cases since she is handling the case with the lowest docket number.
According to the DOJ's case before Branch 205, De Lima conspired with Jose Adrian Dera Dera in committing illegal drug trading when Dera "demanded, solicited and extorted" money and vehicles from Peter Co, a high profile inmate at the New Bilibid Prison, to help fund then Justice Secretary De Lima's senatorial campaign.